I want to do a research-oriented project to strengthen my portfolio, and to show prospective employers that I’ve been doing something this summer. However, I’m sort of at a loss as to how I might go about it. At my research internship, they had a recruiting agency find and filter the dozens of participants needed for focus groups, interviews, surveys, etc. They had a carefully pruned stimulus library of images, objects, and sounds. And of course they had the money for all of the production costs and compensation for the users. After an experience like that, I don’t know how any solo project I attempt could be anything but laughable in comparison. “hey look at this project, I based it on a facebook survey and a focus group of my acquaintances. Then I went to home depot and asked strangers for feedback on a foam model” Sadly, in undergrad that’s basically what primary research consisted of.
The main hurdle, in my mind, seems to be recruiting relevant people. Instead of broad-scale pattern finding (which requires dozens of participants), should I instead focus on the participant interaction itself? By that I mean I would document one or two activities that highlight the toolkit I developed and what I hope to learn, detailing how I interact with participants. Focusing in on the details rather than the project as a whole is the only way I can imagine it going well. But I am open to suggestions.